"A WORKING GESTALT PERSPECTIVE"
Chalice Transformg OrbsV&H wChaliCellVortex &FlowerOfLife2 DkBkV2 crpd", sig'd © Chris Pringer Aug 2009
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Chalice Transformg OrbsV&H wChaliCellVortex &FlowerOfLife2 DkBkV2C2 crpd", sig'd © Chris Pringer, Chalicebridge.com Aug 2009
A WORKING GESTALT PERSPECTIVE
This gestalt perspective sees life as like a jigsaw puzzle. Each being has or is one's own gestalt puzzle, and all life composes the universal gestalt puzzle. It helps me to see this as a 3-dimensional globe of innumerable beings all connected by a latticework or web of the love of God. Each of the pieces of the puzzle has a place in its puzzle, whether it is part of an individual's puzzle or a whole being in the universal puzzle. Each piece is connected to every other piece, to one degree or another. This says that Purpose and Connectedness are given realities -- they are constants -- no matter how distorted or dis-connected a piece appears in its current position.
An experience is one piece of a gestalt puzzle. Thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about result from that experience. These are subsidiary or associated pieces. All pieces of the puzzle are connected and have a role to play, even if a piece is invisible from one's current perspective. Actually, invisibility would just be one of the roles of that piece, at that time. Every existing aspect plays an evolving role in this light -- in an evolving gestalt universe.
In the physical body, every cell has it's own set of gifts, capabilities, essential aspects that it contributes for overall equilibrium. And yet, each cell has it's limits and even liabilities - depending on how it is used, placed, moved, etc. And so systems, made of other specialized cells, provide the organization and management to insure the most efficiency overall under any given condition. The management oriented cells don't have an ego to compete with the other cells to feel more loved or valuable or important- they all just do what they do best - and do this without any preferential recognition of one over the other.
The body, therefore, shows how diversity is absolutely critical to overall health. That is a simple view of our physiology, but even it's most complex view serves as a metaphor for ideal cooperation within an intensely diverse system. Of course, humans are also each contending with an emotional body, a set of parents or authorities who are also human that treat the child with varying degree of skill and consistency of good intention, and we develop from there under varying degree and types of challenge.
And we have that ego -- necessary to both survive the worst of that and keep us challenged with the paradox of individuality vs empathic fusion/"oneness," and need for realization of how to balance or transcend. And so on, depending on ones view of psychology, conventional or transpersonal. But one message the physical body gives us (if we choose to look at it this way) is that we each have essential value, a critical role to play, a place to be, and are unconditionally loved by the overall Being that we each are an equally important part of. That would be a system we can emulate.
Let's take an example in which a piece of the Universal Gestalt puzzle, a member of the human race, appears totally unacceptable (to self and/or others). S/he may feel/appear that way when not in his/her "final" place. Still, s/he has a role to play and may use "coping mechanisms" and related strategies in the current position and process. The present state creates challenge and motivation leading to change that is also essential to the overall assembly of the puzzle. How s/he got "out of place" is history that can be used to learn - and teach. Even the non-repeatable can be appreciated (only in retrospect) due to some learning, the timing of which turned out to be critical for a subsequent development.
When we appreciate the temporary states, the "piece" (or person) which appears distorted in the previous context (associated only with "negative" experience and feelings), finds more and more fitting places in the puzzle. This is one of the gifts of doing the process. Also, other pieces it was next to, other persons in one's relationship, thus find more connected and useful places and roles - eventually also with fewer and fewer coping mechanisms.
Put in personal growth terms, a person may feel dis-connected and without a role -- separated from love and acceptance. It's sometimes easy to feel that some parts of us -- certain recurring thoughts or feelings -- just don't belong inside of us. In that case it's not uncommon to want to separate such parts from ourselves -- to dis-own them. Feeling separate results from feeling judged -- by self and/or others, consciously or unconsciously -- as unwanted, undeserving, not enough, etc. Just having this experience creates pain (or makes one aware of previously unconscious pain), and we may believe at the time that cutting out the thought or feeling will heal the condition.
Thence, pain is one experience (or part of an experience) that we may not want to believe has a place in the gestalt puzzle. Pain does result from feeling separated from one's source of love and acceptance - and/or whom one feels is that source. Since (at least some would say) we often are not conscious of the true source, let alone of where the pain is actually coming from. The *core* of the pain may have originated in his/her infancy, when the child first felt cut-off from his/her parents' needed attention, then reinforced in certain kinds of recurring situations through life.
The belief that "everthing has its place in the world" is probably the basis for Gestalt Psychology. Among other things, that says that a newborn baby seeks only to love and be loved. That is its total underlying intention and motivation for coming into and staying in the world. I do not believe in the idea that "underneath all the stuff of a person is a sinful being that needs to be forced into submission by a vengeful God and his fearful servants." [One can only guess the percentage of atheists have been created in reaction to that one. However, "Reaction" is not "Action" when comes to forgiving and healing destructive early programming.] I do believe that all we have ever experienced has a purpose in our lives, regardless of how little we would want some of it repeated by anyone.
In the Eastern metaphysical perspective, because we are all a work in progress and all souls eventually come to total oneness of All That Is, we are all perfect in spite of the out-of-place pieces, not just because or when the pieces are in their final places. Having said something which can be most difficult to understand by the average western -trained mind, I will add that in this perspective, each soul is *responsible* for his/her own growth, redemption, evolution, and ever-increasing the opening to God for the capacity and assistance to do that -- over however many thousands of lifetimes and hardtimes it takes to do that.
Hence, The principles of "... no free lunch," "earn your learning," and "infinite compassion" all apply here more than in any other cosmology I know of. And when is "final", if we are designed for self-realization and if there is always more to realize outside our existing perspective??? Related: the essay "A Concept of Health & Healing for the Whole Being" (not revised since very early 90's; please email me @firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for this if desired.)
What's really beautiful about the gestalt puzzle, is that there are pieces of the puzzle (people) that provide for the assessment and rearrangement (transformation) of the puzzle. The increasing realization of acuity, depth, and breadth -- which includes compassion -- in viewing one's life-puzzle goes along with the successful overall management (and evolution) of the puzzle. This tells me that we were designed to be self-realizing, which means that we had to begin relatively un-self-realized. That we, as a microcosm of the macrocosm, are designed to grow and learn. That therefore, our being less than perfect from any perspective is *a point of view.* In other words, from the perspective of the Gestalt, the *process* - that includes the above mentioned coping mechanisms, challenges, and gifts - is part of the plan of the universal gestalt puzzle. This perspective is elaborated in a much more technical application in "The Body Pattern Assessment/Reading and Understanding the Pattern Triad."
The "Gestalt Puzzle" is like the human brain as an example of "the many kinds of smart" (in a slightly expanded if not updating reference to the book, "Seven Kinds of Smart") that necessarily work together, and yet in a myriad of ways, even as that myriad is one essential element in the very definition of individuality, the diversity of all of which implys it's very purpose, even design, is to use the vehicle of opposition and complementarity to work together whatever the degree of conflict, even as learning to make all conflict a non-violent process. ~cp 2017
"Synthecentered Doublestar Chalice In Blueaurayed Multivortexes On Tapestry" © Chris Pringer Aug 2011. "An emergent 3D Chalice in a gleaming Multi-ChaliceVortex with a "Double-Star" and Dual spherical "Atomic-Pi-Chalice-Centers" (which was developed from an early piece named "Synthesis") in Yin-Yang arrangement over subtle Multi-Chalices in turquoise rich glow over a deep violet tinged rendering of the renaissance style tapestry background." See full size version at my gallery at Fine Art America (Thematic name per "components": "3DChalice &Vortex DoubleStar with 2Atomic-PiChalice On Synthesis-Center2 with 3MultiChalice2 on 3Tapestry-OvoidCV Background")
3D Chalice VortexTapistry(3), ChaliCells, DoubleStar A1 on Black, Framed", sig'd © Chris Pringer, Chalicebridge.com May'12. On the Multi-3D Chalice theme... slightly misted background but with "ChaliCells" - symbolizing the Chalice dynamic at the cellular level, as well as at the molecular, the systemic, and all other bodily levels. Whereas other pieces are more relevant to the mental and/or the emotional, the etheric, etc. Integration is essentially about the gestalt interrelatedness, or interrelatingness
"Multi-3D-Chalice2 Synthesis3 VortexDoubleStar TreeOfLife3, 2x3D &Lt3D Ovoid" sig'd © Chris Pringer, Chalicebridge.com 5'12
Prose for the Gestalt Puzzle
from the book, "Spiritual Literacy"
neatly completed puzzle.
And so it goes.
Souls going this way and that
Trying to assemble the myriad parts
But know this. No one has within themselves
All the pieces to their puzzle.
Like before the days when they used to seal
jigsaw puzzles in cellophane.
Insuring that all the pieces were there.
Everyone carries with them
at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else's puzzle.
Sometimes they know it.
Sometimes they don't.
And when you present your piece
Which is worthless to you,
To another, whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High.
~~ Lawrence Kushner in
Honey from the Rock
It was on a train on a rainy day.
The train was slowing down to pull into a station. For some reason I became intent on watching the raindrops on the window.
Two separate drops, pushed by the wind, merged into one for a moment and then divided again -- each carrying with a part of the other.
Simply by that momentary touching, neither was what it had been before. And as each one went on to touch other raindrops, it shared not only itself, but what it had gleaned from the other.
I saw this metaphor many years ago and it is one of my most vivid memories.
I realized then that we never touch people so lightly that we do not leave a trace.
Our state of being matters to those around us, so we need to become conscious of what we unintentionally share so we can learn to share with intention.
~~ Peggy Tabor Millin in
Wet it, pat it,
Make a statue of you
And a statue of me
Then shatter them, clatter them,
And some water,
And break them and mold them
Into a statue of you
And a statue of me.
Then in min, there are bits of you
And in you there are bits of me.
Nothing ever shall keep us apart.
~~ Kuan Tao-Sheng, quoted in
Of Love and Lust by Theodor Reik
Gestalt Psychology as compared to Buddhist PsychologyBuddhists *generally* attempt transcendence or conscious sublimation of emotion, discouraging actual expression of anything that might be considered unkind, certainly not to others. Awareness of origins of "stuff" can lead to one's disengaging the cause and effect dynamics, but that is only one part of a conscious life-long practice in self-awareness - of the type that is *selfless,* that is.
Whereas Gestalt therapy focuses on emotions for the purpose of bringing the "plants" of suppressed emotion constructively to the surface, so can move it out of it's covert-power position and reduce the likelihood of it's ill-effects. IE: as/in a sudden temper-fired "gunny-sacking," or internally upon oneself. That suppressed emotion is the core of the tension that leads to restricted cellular and/or systemic circulation and/or elimination, leading to internal disorders, diseases. Or as it USUALLY manefests, in "coming out sideways" -as I like to say- either as an unconscious influence upon our words or other expressions, AND thus the unconscious projection of our own "stuff" onto others - something ALL of us do to some degree. Although no one sees it at the time - except most everyone else (Ouch! Note below metaphor).
Which is best? Whereas I my own system is an integration of both, I'll just say that answer depends on your beliefs about cosmology/ reincarnation/ karma/ transcendence etc, and/or what you've tried with what amount of success -- among many other factors you would discuss w/your therapist, and/or inner parent, and/or inner mystic, as the case applies. Related: a web site all about (and offering) the integration of of the two usually separate approaches - with good, short, pragmatic paragraphs about how & why it works, etc. Just an FYI; Enjoy :-) (http://www.gttcnw.org/buddhist.html) [¶ added , 4/10/11, rev'd 3/18/15]
Seven Phases of Personal Change© '93 Chris Pringer
The process of personal change can be seen to evolve through seven phases. This can apply to one's personality improvement program, to criminal rehabilitation, to general (psycho-social) evolution of a society, or to one's spiritual growth; to a slightly noticed mannerism in our dealing with others or to a habit that could destroy our quality of life. The time it takes to go through the different phases varies. Depending on the kind and depth of change desired and on many other factors, the phases can take seconds or lifetimes. For the most part this essay regards those that are personally notable and memorable.
In Phase 1 we exhibit a negative behavior pattern without consciously realizing the behavior is non-beneficial. In Phase 2 we begin to notice after the fact, perhaps in response to correction or even retaliation by others, that the behavior may be non-beneficial, but continue doing it anyway.
In Phase 3 we come, for the first time, to actually desire to change the behavior, yet find we still keep doing the same thing. There still is not the conscious awareness of the full implications of the behavior, nor a noticeable degree of remorse, until after the action. In Phase 2, no guilt is felt at all.
In Phase 4 we are aware of the non-beneficence of the pattern and even the remorse, or at least guilt, during the behavior itself. We now have realized that the behavior is a habit if not an addiction. Also during the behavior we may feel considerable frustration and anger at self for continuing the habit, and may even wonder why we are still doing it. About this time we begin to assimilate the information necessary to redesign new patterns.
In Phase 5 we make a decision to implement change of some sort, although we may not know exactly what that will look like. We begin to effect behavior change although it would seem parts of self are also trying to continue the pattern.
In Phase 6 we finally exercise full awareness just before we would otherwise begin the behavior and successfully engage a new behavior pattern. The new behavior may continue to develop depending on various factors, and especially if one is motivated to help others in relation to that same kind of pattern. This is not to say that all those who attempt to or actually do help others with a personally experienced pattern have fully changed their own behavior.
Phase 7 only occurs once one is consciously on a spiritual path - regardless of which path or if the path has a formal name. Phase 7 can overlap any of the preceding four phases (3 - 6) and involves the guilt and judgment process. Not all guilt and judgment is born out of spiritual paths, of course. It wouldn't be a simple analysis (even if, by chance, useful) to try to determine which parental rules were in alignment with our Soul's guidance, and which were somehow willy-nilly pushing us in the same direction in spite of their design. Eventually the guilt and judgment cease to be needed as motivators, and become behaviors to drop [per below-referenced essay, "Emotion & Motivation on the Path and in Healing"].
More On "Ideals" (Jan'11, Aug'16):
For many readers as well as this author, many of the ideals stated or implied on various pages at my site are supremely challenging to say the least, and understandably so. I write on the topic because I believe ideals help us formulate a useful vision by which we can effectively develop realistic and purposeful goals. Very few get to live up to our highest ideals, but without ideals, what would we live up to? More pragmatically (?) on the subject: "On Potential Realities, Ideals, Goals, and Accomplishment" at the "Evolution Trends" page, "More On 'Ideals'" & "...the Concept of Perfection" at the page, "Compassion, Healing, and The Practitioner -- and Detouring 'Burn-out'," "The Goal Chart - A Flow-Chart of the Human Psyche in Growth Facilitation and The Achievement of Goals, Attainment, and the Role of Inner-Work", And "Heart's Desire, Ideals, & Accomplishment" (Aug'11, on same page) is About clarifying what we most truly want, and how we can have that... also about HOW we respond to Pain & Loss (whether caused by disease, ourselves, others, or the economy) and are brought back together again - the *how* that can MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
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